The rate of skin cancer in Ireland has almost doubled over the past 10 years.

Sun vacations and sunbeds have been blamed for the 92 percent increase.

Norma Cronin from the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) said the “staggering increase” in melanoma pointed to increased sunburn and increased use of sunbeds.

One of the biggest risk factors is getting sunburned in childhood or adolescence and exposure to “intermittent short bursts of sun”, Cronin said.

The National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) says there were 756 cases of melanoma in Ireland in 2008, a 92 percent increase from the 393 cases in 1998.

Of the 756 cases, 195 people were fatal.

Cronin said there was “significant”, research from the WHO which found that melanoma skin cancer rates leap by 75 percent when people under-30 use sun beds.

The ICS says Ireland has among the highest skin cancer rates in Europe and two-thirds of Irish people have a higher risk of developing skin cancer because of their skin type.